Our principal just sent out our master schedule and once again we have specials first thing in the morning which means I only will see my students for 10 minutes before we dismiss for specials. A few of those minutes will be filled with announcements. It is always so awkward and rushed introducing myself to the students in a 5 minute time frame, and get them prepared for specials.
Any tips on what I could do to make a quick introduction and ease my students into being ready for specials?
Last year I really only had enough time to tell them my name, get their name tags on, and tell them which special to go to...my class is split for specials each year....as in some go to music while others go to PE, etc. so i had to make sure we lined up in the right order and we knew where to go.
What about having the name tags ready, laying on their desk - and let students put their tag on themselves? This might give you a few more minutes to introduce yourself -- then as you call a particular special to line up, the student can reply with an adjective that describes them.
WOW - 10 minutes is not long! I used to teach a special, so I know it can be a challenge - especially during that first day! Good luck!
You might consider sending them a letter of introduction if you do not have a meet and greet event. In the letter you could explain that they will be leaving quickly for special areas every morning, including the first day. Postage could be expensive though. Post cards are cheaper, but you can't say a great deal.
You might also have a different color or design name tag for each special area class. Then have them line up in groups for each special area. If they are in the wrong line you will be able to tell by their name tag. A visual is always nice.
You might even use a class list and write beside each student's name where he is going for special areas. Then as they arrive at your door you can check them off on the list as present and then hand them the correct name tag and explain that those who have monkeys (or whatever) are going to PE today in about 10 minutes.
Identifying who goes where, as soon as they arrive, might save you a little time.
You might have a letter of introduction on your desk.
You might have a letter of introduction up on the document camera for students to read. Or maybe some pictures of you with family, pets, class last year........ Then write, "More at 8:45 when you return from special areas."
I would probably just roll with it. We don't do much in the first 10 minutes of the first day...students find their desks, they unpack their bags, we make lunch choices and I take attendance. I think I would just make sure to mention this aspect of the morning EVERY chance I got -- in my letter of intro, on my website, at my open house, and in any emails sent to parents -- so everyone knew about the quick transition. I wouldn't bother starting any intros until they came back, and probably make a joke about getting to practice our busy mornings even on the first day. BTW, I hate first-thing specials...but sometimes they can be a blessing! Good luck
I start the first day with a quiz about me. There are 10-15 questions about me that are true or false. They can come in and get started on that and you can review the answers, get unpacked, and start your introductions/procedures after specials.
Can you create a slideshow with pictures? That would ensure you kept it to 5 minutes. You could even mention before you show it that you're going to see who's really paying attention by asking them questions when they return from their specials. That would be a fun way to review your introduction - what's the name of your cat, etc...
These are all such great ideas! I will definitely have the name tags ready with their specials already assigned on them and waiting on their desks! I think the teacher quiz idea is awesome as well! And the picture slideshow could play in the background and be so personal! Thanks everyone this has really helped me find some relief!
Teachbyday---I cant believe you dont have specials anymore!! How do you get a planning period?!
I don't know about you, but we always have the kids bring in their school supplies on the first day! So overwhelming with parents, siblings, and picture taking going on. I can't imagine having only 10 minutes! The last couple of years we invited students to bring in their supplies during an hour block on one of our inservice/work days. It made the first day so much calmer. Then we had a word search with all the students names for them to work on for the first 10 minutes. You might consider this.
I love the idea of the color coded name tags. The first day is so crazy. Sometimes I talk to the special teacher and bring them late. They don't usually mind because it is just as crazy for them with bus duty. Then you might get an extra 5 or 10 minutes. I usually start out with them doing some kind of coloring project for a back to school bulletin board. This year's theme is owls. I found two different owls that they can color and personalize with their name and I will put those up on the bulletin board. This year my special is last period so I have to make sure I stop early enough to get them packed up and ready to go before we leave for specials. Good luck!